Youthreach is the Department of Education and Skill’s official education, training and work experience programme for young people aged 16-20 years who have left school early. It’s aim is to develop the core skills needed for further learning and to prepare young people to progress to further education/training or to employment. There are six  Youthreach centres across the county in Ballyshannon, Buncrana, Glengad, Gortahork, Letterkenny and Lifford.

What courses are available in Youthreach?

Youthreach offers young people a wide range of learning and training opportunities. A range of national QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland) qualifications are provided at Levels 2 (General Learning), 3 (Employability Skills) and 4 (General Learning).  Subjects include art and craft, catering, computers, childcare, hairdressing, health and fitness, literacy, numeracy, office skills, outdoor pursuits, personal development, woodcraft and many more. Work experience is also an important part of the Youthreach Programme. Other qualifications include Basic Food Hygiene, ECDL, First Aid and Gaisce Awards.

Centres provide an extensive Health Promotion Programme covering areas such as Positive Mental Health, Sexual Health, Alcohol and Drugs, Road Safety, Citizenship and Money Management.


The Youthreach programme is free to early school leavers, aged between 16 and 20 years old. Learners are paid a training allowance to undertake their course (€45 for 16-17, €203 for those aged 18+ years).

How to apply for Youthreach

You can apply for Youthreach at any time of the year either by contacting your nearest centre through the numbers on the right, applying online through (use Youthreach as your keyword) or complete this Enquiry From and your nearest centre will get back to you. For further information download the following information leaflet 


‘In all the [#LeavingCert] hype this month, one group which has been failed by the school system will go largely unnoticed. They are the ones who drop out and, if they are lucky, get a place on a #Youthreach programme’:

Today is #LoveDonegal day online and we love supporting the people and communities of our wonderful county and it’s islands to reach their education and training goals each year, all 26,000 of them! #WeAreDonegalETB #LoveDonegal #DunNanGallAbu 💚💛

Our learners are now on their summer holidays! Centres will reopen to learners again as follows:

- Friday 30 August: Lifford

- Monday 2 September: Ballyshannon, Buncrana, Glengad, Gortahork & Letterkenny.

Our Lifford centre said goodbye to learners Courtney and Jessica at their recent awards day. The girls enjoyed their two years and will continue their education at @LYIT. Best of luck girls! #GoFurtherWithDonegalETB

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Youthreach is co-funded by the Government of Ireland, the European Social Fund and the Youth Employment Initiative as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.

Contact Details

Youthreach Coordinator   
Eoin Halliday
Tel: 071 9851286

Youthreach Coordinator                           
Jayne O’Donnell
Tel: 074 9362626

Youthreach Coordinator   
Caitriona Cullen
Tel: 074 9135218

Acting Youthreach Coordinator 
Gillian Kennedy
Tel: 074 9122585

Acting Youthreach Coordinator 
Aidan Callaghan
Tel: 074 9142114 

Did you know that you can start on a full-time Youthreach course and get paid for your attendance?

Youthreach Programme Supports

The following supports are available while on our Youthreach programme.